Introduction: Craniopharyngioma constitutes approximately 10% of primary brain tumors in children. It can cause considerable morbidity and mortality due to the local aggressiveness of the tumor itself or its management affecting the hypothalamus-pituitary axis and optic pathway involvement. There is very scarce data available from LMIC which makes the management controversial where multidisciplinary teams are already not available in most of the centers. This is a single-center cross-sectional retrospective review of 20-year record of 49 patients with craniopharyngioma treated between 2001 and 2020 at Aga Khan University Hospital, a tertiary care center in Karachi, Pakistan. Methods: We have assessed the epidemiological data of children presenting with the diagnosis of craniopharyngioma, treatment modalities used, and neurological, endocrine, and hypothalamic complications in these patients. The assessment involved a retrospective review of medical records and medical follow-up. Results: Out of a total of 49 patients, 26 (53%) were male, and 23 (46.9%) were female. The mean age was 9.5 years (SD ± 4.5 years). Most common symptoms at initial presentation were headache 41 (83.6%), visual deficit 40 (81.6%), nausea and vomiting 26 (53%), and endocrine abnormalities 16 (32%). Treatment modalities used at our center include gross total resection 11 (22%) and subtotal resection 38 (77%) out of total, while 6 (12.2%) patients received intracystic interferon. Histopathologic findings of the majority of patients (40 (81%)) revealed an adamantinomatous type of tumor. Only 23 (46.9%) children followed in clinic post-op. Median follow-up after craniopharyngioma presentation was 5 years (± 2.1 SD, range: 2–10 years). Pituitary hormone deficiencies (98%) and visual disturbances (75%) were the most common long-term health conditions observed. Conclusions: Since pituitary hormone deficiencies and visual disturbance were the most common long-term health conditions observed in our study, these patients require a multidisciplinary team follow-up to improve their quality of life.
- Endocrine deficiencies
- Visual field defect